Family ‘absolutely devastated’ at death of man whose car was swept away in storm

Tributes have been paid to Peter Pelling (Police Scotland/PA)
Tributes have been paid to Peter Pelling (Police Scotland/PA) Tributes have been paid to Peter Pelling (Police Scotland/PA)

The family of a man who died after his car was swept away during Storm Babet have said they are “absolutely devastated” as they paid tribute to him.

A search was launched at about 3am on Friday after police received a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater near Marykirk, Aberdeenshire.

A body and vehicle were recovered on Monday and police on Tuesday named the man as as Peter Pelling, from Arbroath.

The storm has claimed at least seven lives across the UK, including three in Scotland.

Autumn weather October 20th 2023
Autumn weather October 20th 2023 Brechin was hit by severe weather (Andrew Milligan/PA)

In a statement issued through police, Mr Pelling’s family said: “Peter was a very kind, loyal and hardworking man. He was a much-loved son, brother, uncle, partner and friend.

“Our family are absolutely devastated by this horrific and tragic accident.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the first responders and all of the emergency services teams involved in what was a particularly challenging rescue, due to the weather and environmental factors surrounding the incident.

“Their continued efforts over the past few days have been so greatly appreciated.”

Police said there are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

The storm claimed three lives in Scotland including that of Wendy Taylor, 57, who died after being swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk, on Thursday.

Storm Babet
Storm Babet A flood-damaged home in River Street, Brechin (Andrew Milligan/PA)

John Gillan, 56, also died on Thursday after a tree hit his van as he was driving on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar.

Roads are beginning to reopen after Storm Babet hit Scotland, as more than £32,000 was raised by wellwishers to help residents of flood-hit Brechin.

The A90, between Forfar and Brechin, Angus, has been reopened in both directions from Dundee to Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, under a contraflow, after engineers were able to examine two “high-risk” structures hit by the storm.

Wild weather caused considerable erosion of the bridge at Finavon, carrying the A90 over the River South Esk, and a contraflow traffic management system was introduced to enable safe crossing until repairs are completed.

Aberlemno Primary School in Brechin has yet to reopen after Angus Council said the B9134 was “no longer judged to be safe”, and a skip was provided for people to dispose of items from flood-damaged homes.

A GoFundMe page set up by Brechin Flood Relief has so far raised £32,369 to help families who were not covered by insurance, and one person even offered an empty flat for people left homeless.

An anonymous donor gave £2,500.

The gym at Brechin Community Campus was “half full” of items donated to help families in need.

The GofundMe page said: “When we factor in the cost-of-living rises and the costs of insurance, we are faced with the tragic fact that many simply cannot afford insurance.

“Brechin is the most fabulous community and we know people want to help those in need who due to reasons not of their making, have had their lives devastated.”

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at